About Us


We were awarded A grant to undertake a project on fatigue in IBD

We have been tasked with examining the causes of fatigue, pilot a fatigue assessment tool and explore interventions to improve its management.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affects at least 300,000 people in the UK. Severe fatigue is a commonly reported symptom; during remission 40% of people report it as their most troublesome symptom. However, awareness of this in health professionals is low and treatments for it are often lacking. Crohn’s and Colitis UK were awarded a £481,242 grant by the Big Lottery Fund to undertake a project on fatigue in IBD. The 4 year research project (which began in July 2010), set out to examine the causes of fatigue, pilot a fatigue assessment tool and explore interventions to improve its management in IBD. The research was carried in partnership with King’s College London, University College London and Addenbrookes’ NHS Trust.

What did the research involve?

As part of the research we have:

  • Interviewed 20 volunteers with IBD and analysed the data that emerged from these discussions.
  • Developed the first ever fatigue assessment tool which we tested with over 500 volunteers with IBD.
  • Interviewed healthcare professionals about their perceptions of fatigue
  • Developed a fatigue checklist which can be used by patients and healthcare professionals to identify reversible causes of fatigue which can be established through blood tests or as part of routine assessments.
  • Produced two videos which highlight the patient experience of fatigue and aim to raise awareness of the fatigue rating scale and fatigue checklist
  • Published papers in academic journals and given presentations to health care practitioners and patient groups to raise awareness of this much overlooked symptom of IBD.

We are also tested two interventions (diet and exercise) with patient volunteers at University College London Hospital. Unfortunately neither diet nor exercise had a significant impact on fatigue.


The Big Lottery Fund is the largest UK distributor of National Lottery money to good causes. Their mission is to bring real improvements to communities and lives of people most in need. The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by The National Lottery to fund projects for health, education, environmental and charitable purposes. In 2009/10 they made 14,000 funding commitments totaling £440 million to groups across the UK, ranging from £300 to investments of more than £1 million. Crohn’s and Colitis UK was awarded a grant of £481,242 in November 2009 to undertake a research project on fatigue and IBD.lottery_funded